Dean’s update: Schools of AMEAS & IT

By Darrel Kesler, Dean of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, & Applied Sciences and Information Technology

While Covid-19 has kept most people holed up working from home, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Schools of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Applied Science (AMEAS) and Information Technology (IT) raised the bar in education through innovation, resourcefulness, and flexibility.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne was selected to be the education partner for the Northeast Indiana FAME chapter. The first cohort of students starts this fall. Member partners include area industry leaders Steel Dynamics, Inc., Fort Wayne Metals, Zimmer-Biomet, LH Industries, Micropulse, and AMT Corporation. Ivy Tech received private and industrial funding for a remodel of the industrial technology space in The Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse Technology Center, which is now slated to be complete by the end of March. Donations are also being used to buy state-of-the-art automation and robotics equipment needed for instruction in the new program.

Our Electrical Engineering and Engineering Technology program earned the prodigious accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This endorsement fosters articulation of our engineering graduates to four-year schools. Additionally, the Mechanical Engineering program is proceeding successfully through the accreditation process and will learn of final results this summer. As a result of being awarded this accreditation, our local four-year schools—PFW, Trine, and Indiana Tech—have expressed a strong interest in facilitating the transfer of our grads to their institutions.

The Agriculture Program was awarded a $5,000 grant from Farm Credit Mid-America, a financial services cooperative that serves the credit needs of rural residents and farmers in the Midwest. This grant will be used to springboard the Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology program here at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. Precision agriculture is a decision-support system for farm management utilizing advanced technologies including unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite imagery.

Our faculty members Cait Cramer, Nick Goodnight, Ryan Voorhees, Frank Garro, and myself are now deemed as ATEA Best Practice Heroes. We were featured on the front cover of the most recent issue of the ATEA Journal (volume 47, issue 1). Ivy Tech Fort Wayne was the first organization invited to the table by The American Technical Education Association (ATEA) for a Best Practice series.

Lucy La Hurreau was recognized by Parkview Health as a Cyber Security Champion and honored with the Parkview Health Cybersecurity Challenge Coin. She is being recognized for her work actively promoting security practices and awareness. Lucy, assistant chair in the School of Information Technology, has been actively engaging students in conferences, competitions, and extracurricular activities focused on Cyber Security and actively participates in community outreach focused on cyber security awareness.

The John L. Walter Scholarship was commissioned in memory of John Walter who provided 35 years of service to Ivy Tech as a dean and instructor. The scholarship will be awarded to Machine Tool Technology students enrolled at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. The first recipient(s) will be designated and awarded the scholarship in his name in the fall 2021 semester.

The School of AMEAS has become a model for dual enrollment students in technical education. The first partnership was with Garrett High School in the Building Construction Technology program followed with the addition of Welding Technology. Then, a Welding Technology program was added in Huntington followed by another addition in Garrett with Heavy Highway. With the partnerships and through Ivy Tech’s dual enrollment programming, these students will earn an Ivy Tech credential upon graduating from high school. 

Now that we find ourselves a year into the pandemic, I am excited to share with you and celebrate the many ways our faculty have defied the odds of remote work and risen to the occasion to continue providing an excellent education for our students and the community, with more exciting new coming soon.

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